Another crash on Capitol Drive

This morning an 83 year old woman was transported by Flight for Life to Froedert Hospital as a victim of a severe side-impact crash. It was the intersection of Beaufort and Capitol Drive.

Capitol Drive from Calhoun to Imperial has been closed in the westbound direction for several hours.


  1. Santa's Elf says:

    Hey, thanks to vk and his band of merry men, there will be lots more like this one right there! He’s dumped the world’s supply of old folk right on the spot (within easy walking distance to all the amenities, so he claimed).

    Chalk this up to our fearless mayor and quick witted city council who long ago fell in love with high density at any price.

  2. Regardless of VK, that intersection (or any with Capitol Dr where there’s no light) has always been dangerous. Way to once again show your sensitivity Elf, for all you know she was a resident of Imperial Estates. I pray she’s okay.

  3. We learned in Driver’s Ed that Capitol is actually one of the most dangerous streets in the nation.

  4. Anthony, I’d really enjoy more info if you have it – statistics etc.

    I hope she’s ok, too.

    Elf could have made his point more gently – that intersection has needed a light for a long time. I can’t remember what the trigger was to be (I’ll need to look it up to be sure) but the developer’s agreement says VK was to pay for it. I know there was to be a connecting street east to Calhoun before the retail would be built. That’s why the Fairview project was pushed through even though that development was never built. Of course, the retail on the Capitol Heights plan is empty.

    I’ll drive up there soon to see if that street was kept open. That access was important to allow an easy way to the controlled intersection of Capitol and Calhoun.

    The whole corner is one of Jeff Speaker’s greatest failings as a mayor. He’d have rather had his picture on a magazine with VK than listen to the concerns of the residents who drive that intersection every day.

  5. I couldn’t find anything online, just that statement from my notes.

  6. Well I’m glad they are teaching you to respect it.

  7. The connecting road IS NOT PLOWED. I just checked.

    I have to write more about this tomorrow because now I’m so angry I can’t even organize my thoughts. How could the city fail so miserably on this one?

  8. Both were drivers were 87 years old The driver coming off Beaufort was pronounced dead at the scene. Let’s see how clever a post Elf can come up with now… 🙁

  9. How sad to add another death to Capitol Drive.

  10. DICK STEINBERG says:

    Correct me if this is not factual. The state is going to improve the roads on Capitol Dr. –Hwy 190. The city is going to build sidewalks from about N.124 and Capitol to about Brookfield Rd. The city/taxpayers will pay for the sidewalks on both sides of the street, and for the rights of way to mostly commercial properties. Again, please correct me if needed.

  11. I did hear the state would be resurfacing. I haven’t heard anything about a light. Sidewalks, yes. But how would sidewalks have improved this situation?

  12. DICK STEINBERG says:

    no light issue. The issue is if we are paying for sidewalks on Capitol Dr. why do we need them ? My friends say no and say yes to residential areas if there is funding. CapitolDr. is mostly if not all business. I know cause I had a law office there. I realize that sidewalks in residential areas are costly but at least they serve the residents. Again, are we paying for the sidewalks and for the rights of way ?

  13. Technically the city/taxpayers are only picking up 20% (~$320,000) of the cost of the sidewalks, state is paying the other 80%. I believe the long term maintenance of the sidewalks will come 100% out of the city’s pocket.

  14. Thanks for the details, Bdad. I hadn’t really followed this one. I do know certain departments at city hall work overtime to make sure they’ll be growing. No doubt public works did cartwheels all the way down the back hallway on that decision.

  15. Santa's Elf says:

    Bdad, so then I guess your summary of the accident would be something like: “One geezer kills another. Ho hum.”?

    Well, there are lots of us geezers residing in Imperial Estates. And with the vk’s of the world loading each and every vacant corner of the city with high density geezer towns, there will probably be lots more geezers getting killed trying to negotiate six lanes of high speed traffic.

    Of course, you’ll conclude that it’s their own fault: they should have sold the car as they got older and just jumped into their rocking chair to die in peace.

    I, on the other hand, blame a society that’s more concerned with converting a once sleepy country subdivision into a high speed corridor from where we still work to where we want to live today, then planting old folks where they are forced to battle their way out of their subdivision to have any life at all.

    We understand your priorities Bdad. But no, we will not go quietly into the night!

  16. Elf, in your vain attempt at humor, you have completely missed my point. But, at least you confirmed my assumptions and continue to insult our senior citizens. Thanks.

    p.s. Which BTW surprises me, since as one of Santa’s crew I would assume you are a member of this finest generation in our society.

  17. Can you two please cool it and show a little respect for the woman who died? We’ll get to the bottom of this. Slapping insults does nothing to prevent it from happening again.

  18. Just some background on Capitol Drive crash rate, which I believe I found on the MJS site:

    “DOT statistics show that … Capitol Drive between 124th Street and Springdale Road saw 815 crashes during the same span (between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2008.) Five people were killed in those crashes.”

    So now add another death, sadly.

    I can’t see putting a stop light at every intersecting street along Capitol Drive, without radically reducing the speed limit along there. It goes from 45 at the county line, to 50 past Lilly, to 55 past Brookfield Road. Add the usual 10 over that most people drive and you have an freeway situation without the safeguards.

    I think a stoplight at Beaufort would cause traffic backups through the Calhoun intersection, unless the light triggered only when a car is trying to get through. One thing I do see a lot is people pulling across to the median but not moving their vehicle forward enough to keep the rear end from intruding into the traffic lanes. The median is wide enough to pull through without having your vehicle’s front or rear end sticking out into traffic. If you are not aware of your vehicle’s position on the road vis a vis other drivers, you are headed for trouble. I don’t know what happened in this particular case, however.

  19. I’d agree. The Beaufort signal would remind me of that signal that was just east of Barker on Bluemound (Panos intersection). We saw what happened there, and the DOT moved it.

    There were pictures on the news last night, this was a full head on impact to the driver’s side door of the car trying to cross Capitol. Don’t think it’s a median situation at all, looks that driver pulled out in front of a car at speed on Capitol – probably never saw it.

  20. Winegirl, the “people not pulling far enough through a median” is my biggest pet peeve as a driver! I wonder if drawing lines on both sides of the edge of the median would help to show cars how far they can pull up. Because, really, that’s a seriously dangerous problem.

    It’s rampant on Capitol drive east of HWY 100 where the city drivers are less cautious and the median is thinner. But it’s always an issue.

  21. I avoid the practice as much as I can. I once argued with Director of Public Works Tom Grisa of it. I complained he was designing intersections where you’d HAVE to cross to the median to get through. He basically said, “So?” I rarely sit in a median – maybe once every other month or so, and then I’m as careful as I can be.

  22. I just spoke to someone from Capitol Hill Senior Apartments and indeed the woman who died yesterday was a resident there. She did mention a friend of hers said she always used that way to get out of the apartments and not the road that’s been left covered in snow.

    She also said she was going to try to get the road plowed today. I think I’ll help with that.

    Also, the woman who hit her was NOT a resident there.

  23. A good tip is to completely stay out of the right lane on Capitol Drive west between 124th and Pilgrim Rd. The lane ends up functioning as a turn lane for all the people going to REI or turning on to side streets or the like.

  24. Santa's Elf says:

    So then the answer to the transient traffic problem, we all agree, is to expand county roads from two to six lanes and retain high speed limits right through high density residential areas.

    Then when the fatalities begin to mount, we festoon the road with stop lights assuming that they will somehow be better than the stop signs which failed to prevent the accidents.


    How about reducing the speed limit to 35 and closing two lanes in each direction? This will discourage transient use and simplify the job of in and egress.

    As for the transients: they have I94 together with an ever increasing number of entry/exit points to provide a pleasant commuting experience.

    Or we could place a round about at each intersection. That’d really set us apart from the crowd!

  25. State will never consider reducing the speed. It’s unlikely they’d allow another traffic light, either, even though it was built into the developer’s agreement. The better option is for the City of Brookfield to develop the area as a high speed corridor, not a “walkable” community, and lower the density.

    Someone has to give or these accidents are going to be more common. Agave was another one not too long ago.

  26. Santa's Elf says:

    What’s wrong with the city blocking access to Capitol from Beaufort? Imperial Dr. already has a light. This is inconvenient but I have seen too many dangerous moves at Beaufort to believe that it will not kill more folks in the near future.

    Once again, thanks vk and our own city government.

    Enjoy the money!

  27. That would be an unintended consequence of the development, but it’s really not a bad idea. All that traffic would have to roll down Lisa Lane – in front of Alderman Rick Owen’s house – to get to Imperial.

  28. I think that’s actually a good idea. If you don’t want to take Imperial out to Capitol, you can always drive a block and go Royalcrest to Calhoun.

    And it’s not like Imperial Estates is hustling and bustling with traffic already.

  29. (Not to mention preventing all the drivers who fly off of Capitol onto Beaufort into Imperial Estates and are still going upwards of 40mph when they hit Senlac.

  30. Santa's Elf says:

    Now the Royal Crest exit offers it’s own state sponsored terrorism! As most residence know – fortunately – Calhoun does a double dip just north of Royal Crest as it descends to Lisbon Rd.

    This means that southbound traffic from Lisbon Rd. is all but invisible to the Royal Crest driver as he/she ponders commencing a turn onto Calhoun Rd. until that traffic is almost too close to avoid.

    I’d suggest blocking this one off too except that this would leave Imperial Estates almost further from the fire station than they used to be.

    Perhaps vk and his hearty band of city officials will figure a way to push this problem into the ‘worst intersection in town’ race. What say you Mr. Berg?

    How about high rise apartments for the elderly on the other half of what once was North View Park?

    Not only will 300 stories with underground parking solve this problem, it’ll also give the towel heads something big to aim at next time they go for flying lessons.

    Have a merry one now!

  31. DICK STEINBERG says:

    Taxpapers only pay $320,000 and forever maintenance, higher liability insurance and more taxes for constant improvements and buying rights of way from commercial non-residents ? All my friends say NO and they are not politicians. C’mon folks what do you think ? Keep in mind that these sidewalks have already been approved by our city legislators for both sides of Capitol Dr. from 124
    Street to about Brookfield Rd or so. For that kind of money we could put sidewalks in residential areas/some, for the kids , seniors and all those good people who live here.